I completed this challenge on July 4, 2012, when I finished reading The Sleeping-Car Murders by Sebastien Japrisot. I will continue tracking novels I have read this year from my To Be Read stacks, because I want to know how well I have done in reducing my TBR stacks. Unfortunately I don't get rid of most of these books and I still don't have enough room to store all my book, read or unread.
Books I have read (with links to reviews):
- Whiskey Sour by J. A. Konrath
- The Information Officer by Mark Mills
- The Sleeping-Car Murders by Sebastien Japrisot
- Flesh Wounds by John Lawton
- Death of a Russian Priest by Stuart Kaminsky
- The Suspect by L. R. Wright
- Under World by Reginald Hill
- Bullet for a Star by Stuart Kaminsky
- A Lily of the Field by John Lawton
- Night at the Vulcan by Ngaio Marsh
- The Property of a Lady by Anthony Oliver
- Birds of a Feather by Jacqueline Winspear
- Pardonable Lies by Jacqueline Winspear
- The One from the Other by Philip Kerr
- A Quiet Flame by Philip Kerr
- Lament for the Bride by Helen Reilly
- Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
Answering two questions from Bev for this quarterly summary of progress...
Looking ahead to next year's challenge: Is there a level that you'd like to see added?
I think a level at 30 or 35 books would be good (but I have no suggestions for names for those levels). I would probably challenge myself to 30 or 35, but I would not go as high as 40... even though I will surpass that level this year.
Have any of the books you read surprised you--if so, in what way?
I had two surprises. One was my reaction to Whiskey Sour. I expected to like it better. It was a quick read and enjoyable. But... I don't generally go for humor in mysteries, and there were creepy and graphic elements, and for me, they did not blend well. I liked the dynamic between the two partners, they reminded me of Jane Rizzoli and her partner in the Rizzoli & Isles TV show (not in the books). That part seemed very realistic, believable. If I read more books in a year, I would probably continue this series. As a slow reader, I have to pick and choose and I don't think I will find time to continue it.
I was also surprised by my reaction to the two Jacqueline Winspear books: Pardonable Lies and Birds of a Feather. On the one hand, I loved the setting and the theme. The novels are set in Europe in the time period following World War I and revolve around life following the war and the effects it had on people's lives. But I found the solution of the mystery to be less satisfying than the overall story in both books. I did not like the emphasis on Maisie's feelings or intuition. There were far too many coincidences. Usually I am not this picky with mysteries and I know there are other mysteries with these "problems" that I have enjoyed. So it is hard to figure out exactly why I was so critical of these.This quarter I only read three books for the Vintage Mystery challenge (one was not from the TBR stacks), and I have to pick up my reading in that area. On the other hand, I read 5 books by authors I have never read before, so that is a boost to my progress on the New Authors Challenge.